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MWC Eco-brief: Oak Woodland Health

Many oak woodlands in the Midwest were historically open and savanna-like. These habitats were filled to the brim with species diversity due to the patchwork of bright, sunny areas and more shaded areas. Today, many of these stands are suffering from invasion by non-native garden species, such as amur honeysuckle. Reducing the use of exotic plants in our yards will keep them from further threatening woodland health. The reintroduction of fire to set back invasive species will favor the open, park-like understory full of native flowering plants, graminoids, and sprawling crowned, fire-resistant oaks.

 

Photo: Parklands Foundation Merwin Savanna,  Lexington, Illinois. 

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